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Thickness Planing

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Yes, it is an overhead router, I got the general idea at my friends shop, he has one that makes mine look like a toy...also homemade. I just bent the idea to my shop space/available materials.

The material doesn't have to be too flat to begin with - I buy all my wood rough cut, straight from a mill if possible so it's always warped, but there is a way to do it without eyeballing it- first you determine and eliminate B) high spots on one side, so that it can stand without wiggling, and you have what machinists call a formed base, at least in my country :D

Using the base, you plane the other side flat, then turn it around and thickness it.

How many passes? I use a 35mm knife (aprox. 1.4"), so say a tele body blank (~40cm) as seen on the site needs around light (~15mm) 20-30 passes, ~5sec each. I almost always go with the grain, not against it, it flows more smoothly. Depth of the rough cuts is 3mm tops (less is better), and with some care, the thing is accurate up to 0.5mm.

The motor running it is actually not very strong, but it does a fine job - 450W. I'm thinking about replacing it with something stronger, but probably not before I run this one to the ground...

I'm about to use it for thicknessing some maple sides, that I yet have to resaw by hand :D ,

and it also can thickness the fboard blanks that are always a little warped, that is if you start with a 7-8mm thick blank.

If you draw a side wiew of your carved-top, you can determine the exact place and thickness of a shim(s) needed to plane the angle(s), route the edges, and all you have to do is connect the dots :D. Also, you can add binding channels to already carved tops, thickness headstocks...

The cost was 0$, it was made by my machinist friend in a day or two, using mostly scrap materials. I think it could be made of wood even, probably using some maple lams, some delrin for the rings etc...



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I've got to ask... am I the only person here stupid enough to spend six hours hand planing a blank down to size? Good for the arms I suppose if nothing else!

Considering that I've thought about doing the same thing before the router idea came up, no, you are not the only person that has considered that.

Do you use any special plane or scraper to do that?

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Nope, just a standard jack plane and muchos elbow grease, i've only ever used very hard woods up until now so maybe its taking longer than planing say alder or basswood.

Certainly a good work out on a nice heavy block of ash! Having said that both the guitars i've made are slightly thicker than i've wanted, you just can't keep planing with blisters. :D

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Hey, it worked!

I did a little playing around today thicknessing my slab of Ash for the V I'm making. I used an MDF jig to "ride" the straight edges of the board, and then moved the router back and forth until I had nibbled out all of the material that I needed to.

It maybe took about 30 minutes, even with making a quick jig, and it was FREE!

Here's the picy's





Thanks Goron!

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Glad to be of help! If it was curved a bit, you could have clamped it to the table from the side using 2-3 pieces of scrap MDF or something, and then using two, say, aluminum profiles on the side for the router to slide on. In my expirience, you get better (cleaner) results with long lengthvise passes.

Now that you're hooked, search the mimf for Robin's Router Ramp, some great router ideas there!



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